On Saturday, NYC’s Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) marched through the Upper East Side calling on New York State Senator Liz Krueger, a Democrat and Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, to support the Invest in Our New York Act. The act, a package of six bills, would impose new taxes on the rich and roll back tax breaks they have previously received. The goal is to prevent cuts in public spending during an economic crisis and ensure resources for excluded workers.
The protest started with a rally at Hunter College. The group then marched to State Senator Liz Krueger’s home on East 77th St. “You’re in the richest residential neighborhood in New York City,” said one protester.
The group of demonstrators stood outside the Senator’s home chanting “Tax the Rich!” and demanding class solidarity.
David, of the DSA, spoke about the impact that austerity budgets have on hurting communities, particularly within the public health care system.
Of the budget for New York City’s public health care system he warned: “Today, according to City officials, there is a proposal for $334,000,000 in cuts. New York State is looking for a 1.3 billion or 5% cut to the health care system … This is extreme.”
Alma of New York Communites for Change spoke in Spanish about the particularly acute difficulties undocumented workers have faced during the pandemic:
I’m here to demand that the Senator cancels rent and provides aid to excluded [undocumented] workers. We are the people who have been most affected during this pandemic and we haven’t received any type of help… Many of us have lost our jobs and we don’t know what to do with our kids. We have to pay bills—rent light, phone, everything—and we don’t have anywhere to look. We aren’t receiving help from anyone, while the billionaires are getting richer and richer every day… a lot of us died because we were too afraid to go to the hospital. We don’t have health insurance. We don’t have a way to pay for medicine … We’ve always been excluded from benefits but it’s thanks to us that NY is staying open … We are also New York
So far, Senator Krueger has been unwilling to commit to supporting tax increases on the rich in this year’s state budget. The deadline for the state legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reach a budget agreement is March 31.
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